Mission to push China business ties


Fujio Cho, chairman of the Japan-China Economic Association, is eager to hold talks with Chinese leaders on how to expand complementary economic relations.

The association, one of seven groups promoting friendship between Japan and China, will dispatch a 100-member mission to China for four days on Nov. 18.

Noting that economic exchanges between the nations have been steadily recovering, Cho said he’d like to talk business — if they’re willing to listen.

“We’d like to exchange views on how interdependent and complementary relations between the Japanese and Chinese economies can be expanded if we are (provided) with an opportunity to hold talks with Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping.”

In written answers to questions from Jiji Press, Cho, also honorary chairman of Toyota Motor Corp., said he wants to discuss with Chinese officials major policy measures to achieve economic structural reform in China and ways to improve the business environment in the country.

Members of the mission will include Masahiro Yonekura, chairman of Keidanren, and Takashi Imai, honorary chairman of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. During the stay in Beijing, they plan to hold talks with officials of the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce.

Japan-China relations have been strained since the Japanese government purchased some of the Senkaku islets in September last year from their private owner, effectively nationalizing the chain. China also claims the uninhabited islets in the East China Sea as Diaoyu.

But Cho called attention to a Chinese joint venture of Toyota and said Japanese and Chinese workers there have become friends and built solid relations after making efforts toward a common goal.

Although Japan-China ties are sometimes characterized as chilly in both political and economic terms, Cho said he has a slightly different view.

The Japan-China Economic Association, which consists of leaders of major companies, has sent a mission to China every autumn since 1975. Due to bilateral tensions over the Senkaku Islands, last year’s mission was put off until March this year, but members of the mission held talks with Vice President Li Yuanchao during their visit in March.

Taiwan, Japan to ink pacts


In another sign of closer ties, Taiwan and Japan will sign agreements covering e-commerce and patents in Taipei on Tuesday.

The move came on the heels of a pact related to fishing rights in disputed waters in the East China Sea, officials said.

The five agreements to be signed also include pharmaceutical codes, railway cooperation and maritime and airborne search and rescue.

“They will certainly further broaden and consolidate the ties with Japan,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Kao said in Taipei on Sunday.

Japanese file more than 10,000 patent applications with Taiwan each year, compared with the around 3,000 patent applications Taiwan sought with Japan, government figures show.

However, Kao would not comment on local media reports that see the accords as a prelude to a tax and economic cooperation agreement.

Taiwan and Japan forged a much-anticipated agreement in April, under which Taiwanese trawlers will be permitted to fish around the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islets in the East China Sea. The islets are also claimed by China, which calls them the Diaoyus, as well as by Taiwan.

Taiwanese government officials hailed the fishing pact as a milestone in ties with Tokyo, although Beijing voiced concerns with Taiwan, which it still considers part of Chinese territory.